A-State Physical Therapy Graduate Scores Perfect 800 on Exam
JONESBORO – Mitch Frey, a graduate of Arkansas State University’s class of 2015, scored a perfect 800 on the national physical therapy exam (NPTE). Frey is only the second A-State student to turn in an unblemished score; another 800 was turned in a year ago.
“I was surprised,” Frey said about his success with the test. “I knew the PTA (physical therapist assistant) program prepared us well for the exam, and I felt I had reviewed and studied well for the exam. But, I didn’t walk out of the exam thinking that I had achieved that high of a score. Once the surprise had worn off, I was just really happy!”
Frey explained the exam is a computer-based, four-hour, 200-question, multiple-choice exam required to be passed in order to become a licensed physical therapist assistant. Not all of the 200 questions are scored, as some are pretest questions that will be used on a future test.
The candidate does not know which are pretest questions and which are scored items when taking the test. It is scored on a 200-800 point scale, with a minimum score of 600 required to pass the exam. Each candidate’s raw score is converted to a scale score. So, while the scale score does represent the highest score on the exam, it doesn’t equal a perfect score.
The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy administers the test four times each year through Prometric testing centers throughout the country. Prometric is a test development and delivery provider of an average of nine million exams per year to people who are seeking new careers or looking to improve their skills. Those dates are in January, April, July and October.
The questions cover knowledge of physical therapy data collection, interventions and diseases impacting treatment in the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular and nervous, cardiovascular, pulmonary, lymphatic and other body systems. It also covers knowledge of equipment and devices, therapeutic modalities, safety, protection and research.
“The study procedure occurs throughout the entire PTA program,” Frey continued. “In addition to learning the information in the licensure exam content areas throughout the course work, we purchase study materials as part of the program, and take practice tests during the program in order to provide feedback in the areas on which we need to focus in order to be prepared. Once we graduate, we just have to utilize the review materials and notes from our course work and continue to learn as much as we can to do well on the test.”
Frey, of Jonesboro, said he is excited and ready to start working with and helping people. “I have been interested in physical therapy since I was in college getting my first degree from Arkansas State in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I ended up getting my accounting degree and working as a certified public accountant for more than 20 years, but always maintained a desire to be in this field. When I finally decided to change careers, I researched the program and heard great things about the program and instructors and decided to do my best to get in.
“The students and instructors that I had the opportunity to be around during the program made it one the very best experiences of my life. They were all just truly wonderful people.”
He also encouraged others to try the field. “This is the field to be in if anyone is interested in helping physically rehabilitate, nurture, educate and motivate people of all ages. I am just very excited about having this education and the opportunity to help people in this area of the health care field. I believe it is very important to society and will continue to gain importance in the future.”
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